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China, Russia naval drill focuses on maritime threat

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-05-19 07:14

China, Russia naval drill focuses on maritime threat

Russia's guided missile cruiser Varyag [Photo/CFP]

SHANGHAI - Directors of both Chinese and Russian naval forces taking part in the joint drill said Sunday that the exercise was aimed at improving their capacity in coping with maritime security threat.

Tian Zhong, deputy commander of the Chinese Navy and the Chinese director of the "Joint Sea-2014", told reporters that the forces have rallied and will conduct all work according to the drill plan.

The drill will be conducted in the northern part of the East China Sea between May 20 and 26. A total of 14 surface ships, two submarines, nine fixed-wing warplanes, six shipboard helicopters and two operational detachment-alphas (ODAs) have rallied in Shanghai on Sunday.

Both China and Russia dispatched capital ships, including China's Zhengzhou and Ningbo missile destroyers and Russia's Varyag missile cruiser.

Tian added that the two navies have successful experience in two previous joint drills, so that this drill will be a success with close cooperation and coordination.

Compared with the previous two drills, all Chinese and Russian naval forces joining the "Joint Sea-2014" drill will be mixed together. In addition, submarines and surface ships will confront with each other.

With more united, integrated and real combat conditions, the drill will improve the two navies' capacity in dealing with maritime security threat, Tian added.

Fedotenkov, deputy commander of Russian Navy and Russian director of the drill, said close cooperation in drill will not only solidify the friendship of the two navies, but also improve their professional level.

In the meantime, a Chinese navy researcher told Xinhua that the drill was not targeted to a third party, but a defense in its nature.

Zhang Junshe, a researcher with the Navy Military Academic Research Institute, said the drill is an early-planned routine one with a focus on safeguarding marine traffic.

Navies of the two countries will exercise defense and attack, escorts, search and rescue and the freeing of hijacked ships, among other actions, said Zhang, who added that the joint drill shows the good intentions of the two countries in maintaining regional peace and stability.

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